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Old 05-02-2017, 12:48 PM   #1
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Seacocks and BREAKER BARS?

When I bought my 83 Grand Banks 49, both engines' seacocks were frozen in the open position. My mechanic was able to "unfreeze" them with a little WD, patience and a 14-16", black, approximately 1-1/2" diameter hard rubber/plastic tube which he slipped over the handle and applied torque to it. I asked him what he used, and he said with a smile that it was a "good tool".

I've been looking for that "good tool" since then......hardware stores, Lowe's, HD, Walmart, on line looking for a BREAKER BAR. A guy at one hardware store told me that's what it was called. Don't think so.

On my next pull out I will replace both seacockes, but until then (2 years), I'd like to find this tool since it was so effective.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:56 PM   #2
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"Cheater" bar is what I call them.
If you have to use one to open or close your Seacocks, I think I'd step up the haul out and replacement schedule for sooner than later.
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:59 PM   #3
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A short length of black PVC pipe.

As was mentioned, at the next haul out, take those seacocks apart and service them. In the mean time, exercise them regularly.
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:00 PM   #4
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Get a 2" diameter piece of pipe, or whatever size pipe ID will fit over your seacock handle. Minimal clearance is better. I have one stored in my engine room for just this purpose. SS pipe is not that expensive. 2" x 14" long is around $45
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:06 PM   #5
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I'm​ happy with the Sea Cock helper tool from Top Shelf Marine. It's just what I needed for a lightly stuck seacock.

http://www.topshelfmarine.com/produc...-valve-helper/
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:49 PM   #6
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Agree with TJM that any pipe with just enough ID to slide over the handle is best. 12 to 16" long is plenty. If you have a scrap metal yard nearby you should be able to find what you need real cheap.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:10 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. CSF. I fully agree with Mr. MS. Hauling sooner rather than later. You might consider adding a grease nipple if possible when servicing your sea cocks. I truly hope you don't break off said tight sea cocks in the mean time. Have some wooden plugs and a mallet close at hand.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:47 PM   #8
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This is one reason why I TRY to remember to go through the boat and exercise all the seacocks about monthly. I don't get to it as often as I should.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:26 PM   #9
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There's a reason some call it a breaker bar.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:34 PM   #10
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The handles suppied on sea cocks are often just stamped out of sheet 1/8" SS. The result is there is little surface area in contact with the flats on the valve shaft. Excessive leverage will cause the hard SS to round off the softer bronze shaft. Adding a second handle before you add a cheater bar will reduce the chances of rounding off the shaft flats.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:53 PM   #11
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Just remember... LONG STEADY PRESSURE! Don't try to yank it or push/pull with all your might. Just a nice steady amount of pressure. Don't force it or you will tare-sumptin'-up.
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:04 PM   #12
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Never use force, just a larger hammer.

The Marelon seacock folks are quick to tell you that you void your warranty if you use any sort of cheater.

I keep a variety of cheaters around the shop. Amazing how effective a piece of 2" PVC pipe can be.

I recall helping my dad adjust the torsion bars on the family 1961 Desoto. He had the large box wrench on the nut and I was at the other end of a 10' piece of steel pipe, walking it around.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:07 PM   #13
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The Topshelf product that Bluefish recommend is very good. It allows you to slip it on through a slot in the side when the handle starts to get horizontal.

I made mine from a short piece of 7/8" stainless tubing. I flattened the end of the tube which made the opening wide enough to slip over the seacock handle.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:15 PM   #14
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The tech at Groco told me they should be lubed with Molycote by 3M. He said that no other lubricant should be used.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDCAVE View Post
The tech at Groco told me they should be lubed with Molycote by 3M. He said that no other lubricant should be used.


Grocos website says ULube. Any difference or "better than" comments? I actually realized it's a task I need to do as well
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:00 PM   #16
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One thing I have learned from this forum: Exercise your seacocks. I tried to tell my wife that and she took it the wrong way.

Only have 2 that were sticky. Used PBlaster and patience now they are free.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:06 PM   #17
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The need for a cheater bar is screaming a message to you. Service the seacock on the hard. Otherwise you better have an excellent damage control kit and good bilge pumps for when you snap off the mushroom head.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmarr View Post
Grocos website says ULube. Any difference or "better than" comments? I actually realized it's a task I need to do as well

I remember the conversation well, and the guy was very specific. Actually, Molykote 111 is a Dow-Corning product. I'm not familiar with Ulube. Perhaps it's an equivalent product. He also sent me a zero fitting so I can do it while seacock is assembled and in the water, but I figure once a year is better than not at all. I remember chasing all over the Vancouver area last year trying to find it.

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Old 05-03-2017, 06:54 AM   #19
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"On my next pull out I will replace both seacockes,"

Depends , if they are the classic tapered bronze they can easily be freed and reused.

If they are a step above SS and plastic seal home water pipe type , you might look for a grease fitting .

A 1/8 pipe plug you screw a Zerk fitting into then grease.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:55 AM   #20
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If these are "ball valves" and they don't want to turn be very careful using any pressure beyond just the factory supplied handle. I have seen shafts snap off and balls completely separate from the stem. If they are getting that tough to turn it is time to replace them. As has been mentioned all seacocks need to be cycled or exercised regularly..

If these are tapered cone style please avoid the use of breaker bars or cheater bars on bronze tapered cone seacocks (not entirely clear what type we are discussing but based on the vintage they could be tapered cone or ball valves).

Tapered cones come out by loosening the adjustment nuts and lightly tapping them, on the threaded end, with a lead or brass mallet, and a nut to protect the threads, towards the handle end. This is not beating on them just a couple of light taps and they "pop"....

You then lap fit (valve grinding compound) them and use Spartan Grease available from Spartan bronze. Tapered cone seacocks can literally outlast the boat with proper maintenance. The Taiwanese builders sometimes used Wilcox Crittenden tapered cones and then began making their own and finally switched to ball type seacocks... If you wreck a tapered cone seacock they no longer exists unless you go with Spartan Bronze.

If they are tapered cone this may help: Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks
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